How late in life can you leave this?

Discussion in 'Karate' started by KarateMum, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! :) I understand your nervosity, as I'm rather new to karate too and find the grading the most stressful thing of all! It's always good to keep in mind that there is probably always someone worse than you and that everybody is nervous :)
    I've also been stressed before the two gradings I've gone through so far, both of which were double gradings (making them even more stressful - I reeeally didn't want to dissapoint my sensei). And although I fell ill right before the second one and was scared I won't be able to endure till the end and do all the physical testing (including 70 push ups, 70 sit ups and 70 squats), it ended well! The human body is amazing and will do things you think you can't when you absolutely need to, probably even remember stuff you thing you can't :)

    Let us know how you did!
  2. KarateMum

    KarateMum Valued Member

    I've been outside practising with my 12 yr old son (he that can remember!). I swear blind that there is a kick and a follow-through in this set-up that I'd never practiced until last night in the Dojo. Anyhow, I think the swallow my pride and get my son to help me has been useful.

    We are going to grade for the same belt together, but he has also been doing the junior as well as my adult sessions and so has a large number of hours more under his belt than I do. Also, I think they have done different exercises in lines where I think these grading sequences have been practiced. Imagine having your 12 yr old saying to you 'no, you're missing this/that bit' or 'you will be fine!' Still if it gives me even a slight advantage tomorrow it will have been worth it. I can't have him getting a belt up on me can I?

    Many thanks for all the support, but Nachi, I am sincerely pleased that I won't have to do a physical test (at least they haven't told us that we have to). I still struggle to do one press-up let alone 70!!! Respect!
  3. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Eh, I see kids doing that with their parents regularly at my school. The kids sometimes seem to get a particular glee from doing so.

    I knew a fellow student who started because his son was a student. And he said he had to make sure he kept up because he didn't want his son to be able to beat him up. :p
  4. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    I hope you will be able to perform all the moves well... It's great that your son could help you :) Swallowing pride is sometimes difficult, but good. I usually don't have a problem with it, as I know taking advise (even) from a lower belt or someone younger can be very helpful! I'm there to learn after all. And sure, you shouldn't let him get too ahead of you! :D

    But I can imagine! It happened to me one time we had a seminar for the members of all the 6 dojos of our organization. I practised a sequence (a kata in line) in pair with a boy (a stranger to me) who was around 12 years old, and had a higher grade - 6th kyu - meaning more years of experience (kids usually take longer between gradings) and was obviously very enthusiastic about karate. He corrected one of my punches that should've been aimed at a different spot. I wasn't entirely sure about it, but thought he was probably right, so I thanked him and tried to punch his way. I was a 9th kyu then. A month later, at another seminar, I met him again and paired with him for the same sequence. I became 7th kyu in the meantime. After we got to the end, he looked at me and asked: "You passed the gradings? I remember you, you had a yellow belt last month." I smiled and confirmed. After which he responded with a perfectly calm voice: "But you still do this wrong." :D
    He has my respect for this, though. It takes some guts to even come to practise with almost only adults, not to mention correcting them. And it is a right thing to do, in my opinion. He's really cool :)

    Anyway, good luck to you and your son! :)
  5. KarateMum

    KarateMum Valued Member

    Hi Nachi, I guess, if nothing else, the youngsters gain in self-confidence when they feel they can correct someone older than themselves and self-confidence is def. one of those top life-skills to have. In our Dojo, providing they are able to concentrate for the extra time the youngsters appear to be welcome to attend the adult sessions, esp. during the school holidays when the later finish time is not so much a problem for bed-times. As such I am often in the company of far younger students who are significantly more experienced and far higher belts than me. I have to say that, without question, they are all generous with my inexperience, I think they all know that I struggle with my co-ordination and memory and each one of them is confident enough to offer me a correction both requested and otherwise. Though I think it helps them when I ask them to 'show me' - I believe that it gives them confidence that they are doing it well enough to show someone, particularly an adult. Its funny though, I still find it more awkward to ask my own son than one of the others, and I must admit I'd sooner spar with one of the others as well.
  6. HachiKuma

    HachiKuma Valued Member

    It's been really interesting reading this thread, as it sort of mirrors my own experience.
    Apparently, according to my passport, I'm 41 and I started with Ju Jitsu lessons in November of last year, as my 7 year old had just joined the junior class and it looked like good fun. I'd done a bit of Judo in my early teens, back when the world was in black and white.
    Like you, I've really got the bug, although you train more often than I do, as I'm only on an hour a week at the moment until some studying is completed. I also found it difficult to remember a lot of the moves within a technique, so I started to keep a little notebook with me, writing everything down as soon after the lesson as was possible. I've found it to be really helpful, especially when moving through the shapes of the throw/kata. It does however mean that I look especially stupid when throwing an imaginary opponent in the kitchen!
  7. KarateMum

    KarateMum Valued Member

    HachiKuma, the best bit about this this thread has been finding out that I am not the only one who has taken a decision to start MA 'later in life'. I completely understand about throwing the imaginary opponent in the kitchen though. I think the goats look on totally agog when I am marching round their yard in my wellies and overcoat whilst they eat their dinner!! It sounds daft, but it is good large area to practice in without whacking my hands on other objects.

    I haven't done a notebook yet, but a couple of folk on the thread have mentioned that they do similar so it might be worth looking into. It was also good to get my 'passport' a couple of weeks ago, I've now just got to find a photo that I'm willing to stick into it!!
  8. ArthurKing

    ArthurKing Valued Member

    Can you tell us what association you're with, slightly confused by your grading information- red to white?? 9 moves (renrakuwaza/combinations?).
  9. KarateMum

    KarateMum Valued Member

    ArthurKing - It's Wado Ryu Karate and our group is part of the UK Higashi Karate Kai Association (I think that's what it would be called). I think we have just done 8th Kyu and there was a list of 8 or 9 moves that we had to be able to perform to grade Red (total beginners) to White - things like left and right punches, forward kicks, round-house kicks etc. (I'm not going to attempt the Japanese spellings). I think some schools might have the belt colours running in a different order from what I've read. That's about as much as I know - does that help?
  10. KarateMum

    KarateMum Valued Member

    NB. I've come home tonight wearing that white belt :-D

    It seems you can "teach an old dog new tricks"

    NB. matveimediaarts - I looked in the celebrations area, but there are only three threads in there - it seemed somewhat indulgent and rather shouty to post about gaining the lowest grade - if I get to black belt before I'm 60 I might log on and shout about it there, but until then I think I'll keep things on this thread :-D
  11. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Congratulations! Stick with it now; there are going to be difficult times but you've got years of rewarding study and practice ahead of you.

    One of my students is a lady in her mid fifties and she grades for 3rd Dan soon. Keep going!

    Congrats again :)

  12. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member


    I think you should shout about it as much as you like. One of the nicest things about MAP is that we all like to celebrate each other's achievements. It's that sort of place.
  13. KarateMum

    KarateMum Valued Member

    So, I am finding all I can to read about - following up interesting threads on MAP by looking up terms and references online, thinking about my Karate lessons on the days I am not doing them, marching around in my wellies practising whilst my animals are eating their feeds, maybe now wondering how far I could get by the time I am 50 - the next dreaded milestone B-day. Does all this sound normal?
  14. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Apart from the wellies it all sounds perfectly normal. ;)
  15. KarateMum

    KarateMum Valued Member

    Another update:

    So I'm still sticking with it.

    Pinan Nidan is my current 'party piece' I'm no-where close to perfect, but it starts to feel like I know what I'm doing with it and the moves are getting quicker and sharper. Pinan Shodan I'm fairly competent with remembering what is supposed to come next (until I'm stuck in the middle with folks watching me :-( ), but need oodles of work on form and correctness. Pinan Sandan I can remember the order of with minor cues from the others around me - this one feels rather awkward and 'short' in comparison with the others) - again form and correctness is stil out of the window, Pinan Yondan seems easier to remember than Sandan - I think because the directions are closer to the first two. I can actually remember the order of this one in my own time, but the cogs are really whirling the old brain when I do so. I know it will be several years before I need any more of them than Nidan (much to be thankful for there!), but at least it makes it easier to keep up when the rest of the class is practising the more advanced ones.

    I am still having fun and games sorting out the Japanese names, sorting out my Kette junzuki, from my Tobigeri so to speak. I kind of hope that this floors everyone to begin with and that it isn't just me. Mind you in just searching for the spellings I've just found this site which seems to have a lot of useful descriptions in it. Careful study f this site will do no harm I think. What 'gets me' is when we do line work and they call out that we are going to do about 5 complicatedly named things one after the other, The brain part of me is still working out what these are, let alone how to link them together and to remember to switch my guard with each kick to land back on the right foot with the arms in the correct place when we have done them, whilst the rest of the class are half-way down the floor of the Dojo! I hope that my inability to process things quicker is just endemic in the fact that I am learning rather than being because my brain is starting to age!!

    Mind you I still love it, I get on well with my class-mates and like the fact that I can enjoy a social sport with people of the opposite sex without worrying about being 'more than friends' with the chaps involved. That might sound odd, but its nice - it's like being social friends, but in a business setting and I've not been in that situation very often in a social/sports situation. So often women's sports/exercise situations are single sex activities. It's unusual to find a sport that I can train alongside a man and do the same things.

    I also enjoy my classmates successes - we have just had some go brown belt, first Dan and Sensei awarded 6th Dan which was great news for them.

    Anyhow, I'm doing some practice at home and lots of reading around the subject which is interesting and really enjoying it. It's a good job it isn't on each night, as I think I would be there!! As it is I get 4 hours a week which I hope is sufficient to make progress with.

    So that will do for now I think. :-D
  16. GaryWado

    GaryWado Tired

    Sounds like you are doing well.

    Stick with it, and things like the Japanese terminology will become second nature to you in no time.

    Just keep on enjoying it.
  17. KarateMum

    KarateMum Valued Member

    Hi all, Houston we appeár to have problem and it's sparring!

    47 years and before Karate I had always been taught that it was wrong to hit people. I don't like sparring, but despite this I am trying to do it as well as possible. I am not naturally aggressive and have an exceptionally calm temperament, unfortunately in the past I have accidentally connected with folk, but in my opinion I don't think I have bopped them any attachments harder that I have been clipped. However, several folks have commented that I am coming over as too aggressive so it must appear that way even though I don't think I am.

    I don't like sparring and this not an aggressive bone in me . so why I am I telegraphing agression during sparring and the more I am getting commenttos on this the less I like it. So what is happening and how do I fix it please?
  18. GaryWado

    GaryWado Tired

    Has your instructor given you anything to work on?

    Sparring, like everything else, needs to be approached methodically - so you can work within your comfort zone and build from there.

    There's actually nothing dangerous or scary about sparing - it's just a different skillset that needs to be acquired and it will come.
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  19. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    Gary is right. I would add that since you're relatively new to kumite, your kime (focus) may come off as aggressive to opponents. I would suggest being courteous after matches. Bow, say domo arigato, and shake hands. :)
  20. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    It may be that you're thinking of it as fighting, and as a result your body language and demeanour are defaulting to that.

    Most karate kumite is a sport, and no better or worse as a result. Stop thinking about it as kicking/punching people and start thinking about scoring points and winning sparring bouts.

    Unless it's knockdown or other full contact of course :)


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